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Wednesday, 28 December 2011 20:56

99 percenters better pay attention to GOP

To the Editor: To all 99 percenters. You had better be paying attention to what Newt Gingrich and his cronies are proposing for the future of your country. Get informed about what is being thrown out there. Then, get involved!…
Wednesday, 28 December 2011 20:56

Does the right practice what it preaches?

To the Editor: We find ourselves during the holidays celebrating the birth of a man whose teaching greatly affected our present-day social contract. He taught us to be tolerant towards each and every one and to love our neighbors as…
Wednesday, 28 December 2011 20:55

Cutting Russ Avenue trees was bad move

To the Editor: I think that clear-cutting the slope on Russ Avenue across the road from Kmart was ridiculous. I understand that they needed soil for the contaminated apple orchard, but they could not have chosen a worse place to…
Wednesday, 28 December 2011 20:55

Why spend money moving art during tough times?

To the Editor: As I bounce merrily along the potholes on the way into town, I often wonder if the money spent on pubic displays of artwork could have been better spent in these trying economic times. I may be in the…
Wednesday, 28 December 2011 20:53

Staring down a blank computer on deadline

It happens to writers much better than me. I know this, because I need only to open a book and find a sentence like this one to be instantly reassured: “I was sitting at my typewriter one afternoon several weeks…
The number of people applying for library cards in Jackson County has doubled since the new library opened this summer. Jackson’s striking increase in library use in part is a testament to just how low use was before. A dismally…
Wednesday, 28 December 2011 20:11

New Sylva library top in the state

Everyone who has seen and toured Jackson County’s new public library knows that it’s beautiful, but now the state has put an official stamp on that fact. The library recently won the Outstanding Facility Award for new libraries larger than…
Donations are already rolling in for the Waynesville Art Commission’s latest public art piece, a replica of the historic Smokies’ arch over Main Street, but the group is still looking for donors. “I am real pleased with the response so…
Wednesday, 28 December 2011 20:06

Clyde’s top cop sidelined on suspension

Clyde’s police chief has been placed on suspension, but town leaders are not saying why. Police Chief Derek Dendy is currently on a 30-day unpaid suspension, with the possibility of further action pending the outcome of a hearing in two…
The coordinators of the annual Rally in the Valley motorcycle event have strapped Maggie Valley leaders a seemingly impossible ultimatum that could leave the town in straits no matter what they decide. Rally in the Valley coordinators asked the town…
Wednesday, 28 December 2011 20:01

Jack Stern demos his oil painting techniques

Landscape painter Jack Stern will demonstrate oil painting techniques at 6:15 p.m. on Jan. 5 at the Swain County Center for the Arts in Bryson City. He will discuss the medium of oil painting and how to develop the painting…
Wednesday, 28 December 2011 20:00

Sylva library offers monthly music performances

The Jackson County Public Library in downtown Sylva hosts a daytime music program on the first Friday of every month featuring the “The Lady and the Old Timers Band.” Next month’s performance will be held from 11:00 a.m. to 12:30…
Wednesday, 28 December 2011 19:59

‘Memories’ with Barbara Bates Smith

Actress Barbara Bates Smith will perform her adaptation of the Lee Smith short story, “The Happy Memories Club,” at 2 p.m., Jan. 9, at the Haywood County Recreation and Parks building. Following the performance, Dr. Lisa Verges will facilitate a…
Wednesday, 28 December 2011 19:58

Fiber artist to give rug hooking demo in Jackson

The Jackson County Public Library in Sylva will host fiber artist Jerry Spears for a demonstration of traditional rug hooking at 7 p.m. on Jan. 10 in its atrium. The rug is Spears’ palette choice. She creates her own designs…
Wednesday, 28 December 2011 19:57

Bryson City library to show family classic

The Marianna Black Library in Bryson City will show another family classic at 3:30 p.m., Jan. 3. The 2011 movie from Walt Disney features beloved characters — Kanga, Roo, Piglet, Eeyore, Tigger and Pooh. Christopher Robin has gone missing, and…
The First Thursday Old-Time and Bluegrass Jam Series will continue at Western Carolina University’s Mountain Heritage Center on Jan. 5 with a concert featuring Ric Ledford and Reems Creek Incident. The 7 p.m. performance by the Buncombe County band will…
Wednesday, 28 December 2011 19:56

Gateway Club to host New Year party

The Gateway Club in Waynesville will hold a New Year’s Eve party on Dec. 31 in its dining room. The party runs from 9:30 p.m. to 12:30 a.m., with live music from the Lorraine Conard Trio, hors d’oeuvres and a…
The North Carolina Humanities Council, a statewide nonprofit and affiliate of the National Endowment for the Humanities, has awarded $57,486 in grants for projects in the humanities. All funded programs are free and open to the public. The Mountain Area…
Wednesday, 28 December 2011 19:54

Fireworks in the mountains on New Year’s Eve

Fontana Village Resort is planning its annual New Year’s Eve celebration in the Smokies. The 2011 New Year’s Eve Bash includes dinner by Chef Carl Eklund in the Mountview Restaurant, a party with live music from the Caribbean Cowboys at…
Wednesday, 28 December 2011 19:52

HCC goes high-tech for the holidays

At Haywood Community College’s Regional High Technology Center, students created a Christmas tree like no other — a high-tech tree. All the programs in the Advanced Technology Department made decorations for the tree, which uses LED energy efficient lights. The tree…
Wednesday, 28 December 2011 19:46

Learning the craft

In a classic case of the student becoming the teacher, Brock Martin signed up for his first blacksmithing class at the Jackson County Green Energy Park and began apprenticing soon after. That was four years ago. Now, he has been…
Wednesday, 21 December 2011 15:13

Navigating the waterways of WNC

When one thinks about navigation in regard to the rivers here in the Smokies region, it’s old-time ferries and modern-day canoes, kayaks, rafts, tubes, and motorboats that come to mind. But there have been other sorts of navigation involving flatboats,…
Wednesday, 21 December 2011 15:12

Gov. Purdue recognizes Save the Frogs Day

Gov. Beverly Purdue of North Carolina recently issued a proclamation officially declaring April 28 “Save the Frogs Day” in the state of North Carolina. The governor’s move was prompted by the request of 13-year-old Rachel Hopkins, an eighth-grade student at…
Conservation groups are hailing an agreement with the U.S. Forest Service that they say will protect an area of rare old-growth forest from logging near Franklin in the Nantahala National Forest.   The Southern Environmental Law Center had appealed a…
Wednesday, 21 December 2011 15:11

Friends save tract bordering the park

Great Smoky Mountains National Park got an early Holiday gift on Dec. 14 when the Friends of the Smokies officially transferred 20 acres of new land to the national park. The land lies along Soak Ash Creek in the Pittman…
Wednesday, 21 December 2011 15:10

National Park road updates hit Twitter

If you want to know which roads are closed because of weather conditions in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park, the easiest way is to now get updates via Twitter. Those without a Twitter account who wish to be notified…
Wednesday, 21 December 2011 15:10

New NC bird habitat map online via Audubon

Audubon North Carolina has put out a new edition of Important Bird Areas of North Carolina, a full-color publication with detailed descriptions of North Carolina’s most critical bird habitats. The book, available online at www.ncaudubonblog.org, features 96 sites comprising nearly…
Wednesday, 21 December 2011 15:09

Start the New Year with a hike at Gorges Park

Gorges State Park is sponsoring a free, guided hike on New Year’s Day. This is a part of First Day Hikes, a national initiative that offers a great way to get outside, exercise, enjoy nature and welcome the New Year…
Wednesday, 21 December 2011 15:09

Frosty Foot trail races coming to Tsali

Feeling sprightly in the New Year? Then hit the trails in the Tsali National Forest Recreation Area Jan. 7 with an 8k, 30k or 50k option in the annual Frosty Foot race. This is a world famous, technical yet serene,…
Wednesday, 21 December 2011 15:08

Walking trail at Lake Junaluska lengthened

The walking trail at Lake Junaluska Conference and Retreat Center is getting longer thanks to a new one-half mile extension on the lake’s south side. Lake Junaluska is adding the new section of trail along South Lakeshore Drive, just south…
Wednesday, 21 December 2011 15:08

Become a Master Gardener

If you are in Jackson and Swain counties, it’s time to sign up for the N.C. Cooperative Extension Service’s Master Gardener program. Applications are required no later than Thursday Jan. 26. Classes will be held at the Swain Extension Center…
Wednesday, 21 December 2011 15:05

A wonderful Christmas gift

The Southern Environmental Law Center (SELC), Wild South, the Western North Carolina Alliance (WNCA) and the Southern Appalachian Forest Coalition (SAFC) announced last week that they had reached an agreement with the U.S. Forest Service to protect nearly 50 acres…
The common phrase heard among kayakers daring the Nantahala’s new wave: “It’s getting there.” The Wave in the Nantahala Gorge received an overall lukewarm response from paddlers during a formal unveiling Friday. Most kayakers said they liked the apparatus, which…
Scott Nicholson will visit City Lights Bookstore to present and sign his three latest horror novels: Chronic Fear, Liquid Fear and his short story collection, Monster Ink, at 6p.m. on Dec. 21. Nicholson lives in Western North Carolina and is…
Wednesday, 21 December 2011 14:53

A season to reconnect with familiar stories

That time of year has arrived when ritual and custom weave their magical threads into our lives. We sip Uncle George’s eggnog and bourbon, made from a recipe which his Uncle George inherited; we feast on ham at Grandma’s table;…
The Waynesville Parks and Recreation Department will offer art classes at the Old Armory Recreation Center beginning in January. There will be three different classes — drawing, watercolor and painting. The drawing class will meet the first and third Tuesday of…
Wednesday, 21 December 2011 14:52

Casino to host New Year’s Eve gala

Harrah’s Cherokee Casino and Hotel will celebrate the New Year with a burlesque show. The evening will feature live entertainment at multiple locations throughout the casino and hotel. Acts include Bella Electric Strings, who will perform from 6 to 10 p.m.…
Wednesday, 21 December 2011 14:51

HCC names winners in first-ever photo contest

Haywood Community College recently announced the winners of the school’s first photo contest. HCC student Samantha Faust’s “Learning to Swim” won first place. “Safe at Home,” by HCC Adult Education instructor Karma Shuford, was the second-place winner, and Phillip Turner,…
The Great Smoky Mountains Railroad will ring in the New Year with a dinner and dance Dec. 31. As the train rolls down the track, attendees can partake in an evening of live music, dancing and dining. The evening will…
Wednesday, 21 December 2011 14:50

The Moody Blues to perform at Harrah’s in March

The Moody Blues will perform at Harrah’s Cherokee Casino and Hotel on March 31 as part of their 32-city U.S. tour in 2012. The tour will celebrate the 45th anniversary of their album “Days of Future Passed,” and will kick…
Wednesday, 21 December 2011 14:50

Freight Hoppers to appear at Jack of the Wood

The Freight Hoppers, a nationally known string band, will play at Jack of the Wood in Asheville at 11 p.m., Jan 14. Based out of the Smoky Mountains of North Carolina, The Freight Hoppers perform old-time southern music and are…
The Soweto Gospel Choir will fill the Thomas Wolfe Auditorium with music at 4 p.m. on Jan. 29. Part of the Asheville Bravo Concerts series, Soweto Gospel Choir specializes in African Gospel music. Formed 10 years ago, Soweto Gospel Choir…
Wednesday, 21 December 2011 14:49

Sylva resident to teach art of bookbinding

Phyllis Jarvinen of Sylva will demonstrate and teach a mini-workshop on book arts and book binding at the Art League of the Smokies meeting Jan. 6. The workshop will start at 6:15 p.m. in the lobby of Swain County Center…
Western Carolina University will hold a stained glass course every Thursday from 6 to 9 p.m. from Jan. 12 through Feb. 9. The class is for beginning through advanced-level students and will be taught by Moya O’Neal, a stained glass…
Want to see, for free, one of the best examples of folk art to be found in Western North Carolina? Then head to the humble Hazelwood community in Haywood County and view what some of the residents living there have…
On Christmas Eve, my dad would always bring home a huge box of navel oranges and bags of pecans, walnuts, and almonds, all still in their shells. These would be arranged, though not artfully, on the fireplace mantel underneath our…
Wednesday, 21 December 2011 14:41

The story of the Christmas tree and the wife

Another Christmas tragedy appeared on the horizon with the arrival of our Christmas tree. I have often thought the holiday season would best begin if it didn’t start with this most terrifying event. I don’t believe in the recreational use…
Wednesday, 21 December 2011 14:33

Swain courthouse slated for civic revival

After years of talk and little action, Swain County is moving forward with a long-held dream to turn its iconic, domed courthouse into a cultural history museum and visitors center. The architectural centerpiece of town, the old courthouse has been…
It’s early on a workday, and there’s a single player seated at one of the 18 machines in the two-room M&J’s sweepstakes café, located in a small strip mall on Highlands Road in Franklin. Louise Dills, who works at the…
Counties and towns in the region are sparring over a highway sign that points the way to Cherokee, each hoping to capture a share of the 3.5 million annual visitors en route to the tribe’s casino by bringing that traffic…